Obinutuzumab (Gazyvaro®) is used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and follicular lymphoma. Follicular lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). It may sometimes be used to treat other cancers. It is best to read this information with our general information about the type of cancer you have.
Obinutuzumab belongs to a group of cancer drugs known as monoclonal antibodies. These drugs are sometimes called targeted therapies. They work by ‘targeting’ specific proteins (receptors) on the surface of cells.
Obinutuzumab targets a protein called CD20, which is found on the surface of white blood cells called B-lymphocytes (B-cells).
CD20 is found on normal B-cells. It is also found on most of the abnormal (cancerous) B-cells that occur in follicular lymphoma, and some of the abnormal B-cells that occur in CLL.
Obinutuzumab locks on to CD20. It then triggers the body’s immune system to attack the cells and destroy them. Obinutuzumab destroys both abnormal and normal B-cells. Once treatment is over, the body can replace the normal B-cells.
Your doctor will talk to you about this treatment and its possible side effects before you agree (consent) to have treatment.